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I can't get into a relationship with this man can I?

(18 Posts)
GratefulHead Tue 19-Aug-14 16:36:15

I have a fantastic friend, we get on amazingly well and he is kind, supportive and caring. As an example when I stomach bug and was on my own he came over, looked after me and the slept on the sofa bed overnight in case I needed anything,

He is amazing with DS and has recently put together a metal frame bed which I got in pieces for DS.

He is a lovely lovely man but......

He is an alcoholic/very heavy drinker.

He drinks beer, it does nothing except make him more relaxed and help him socially. It unfortunately also affects his health negatively.

Recently he stopped drinking....and has gone three months without it but unfortunately he has started again in the last week. He tends to drink about 8 cans at a time in an evening.

He is the first person I have really liked in a long time but I can't get involved with him can I?

I do know that I am a woman who loves too much (from the Women Who Love Too Much book) and having read it my attraction to this man makes sense but I am so so sad I cannot take things any further with a man who is so supportive and kind.

How do I deal with that?

chockbic Tue 19-Aug-14 16:38:02

Heavy drinkers aren't necessarily alcoholics.

It depends on whether they are addicted and can do without it.

HelpMeSitOnMyHands Tue 19-Aug-14 16:38:57

No, sorry, you just can't !

Walk away before you care too much. It's a big shame, but you can't get involved with him while he drinks 8 cans a night.


Jan45 Tue 19-Aug-14 16:43:06

If he has been so kind and supportive to you, perhaps you could return the favour by offering to help him cut down, seek advice, or just talk about why he feels the need, is such a shame.

MairzyDoats Tue 19-Aug-14 16:45:23

Does he want to get involved? If he's not dependent on the alcohol then possibly he'd be willing to cut way back for you?

expatinscotland Tue 19-Aug-14 16:46:40

Stay friends. I find friendship underrated.

vestandknickers Tue 19-Aug-14 16:48:42

Why can't you get involved? You know what you're getting into and he sounds lovely.

GratefulHead Tue 19-Aug-14 16:50:06

Yeah I am thinking that friendship is a better bet. He is lovely, when I was unwell an he came over, he got me settled in the safe with a duvet and iced water, then sat on the floor beside me just holding my hand while we watched a film. I suspect he does like me and I really like him but the alcohol is holding me back,

We have a lovely friendship.

GratefulHead Tue 19-Aug-14 16:51:03

on the sofa not "in the safe"

halfwildlingwoman Tue 19-Aug-14 17:25:44

I sort of think you can't, but one of the happiest relationships I know I thought was a terrible idea when they got together because he drank 6 cans a night.
Within the first year of them being together he had stopped, I think because he was happy. 20 years on they have a little boy and are very content. He is a great dad.
However, I don't know if you can rely on that. Why not stay being his friend, do things together that don't involve alcohol and see if it is a problem he can't solve. Have you discussed his drinking at all?

thestamp Tue 19-Aug-14 17:36:20

You absolutely should not get into a relationship with him.

8 cans a night, it affects his health, stops for three months but can't keep it up, sorry he is an alcoholic.

"being there for him" will just help him support his addiction. he will use the emotional energy he gets from you to keep drinking. long emotional chats about drink = oh i need a drink tonight. long emotional chats about his childhood, what drink has cost him, etc. = gosh i need a drink after that. gives up drink "for you" = the moment you do something "wrong" or have a disagreement, he falls apart and drinks again and it ends up somehow being your fault.

alcoholics are often some of the nicest, kindest people in the world. until you actually do rely on them, practically or emotionally. then you'll see the truth.

don't do it. it will break your heart.

you've already self-identified as someone with co-dependency problems. this man is looking for someone like you to help him keep drinking. do not get involved.

i urge you to attend an al-anon group, and to go regularly.

4boysxhappy Tue 19-Aug-14 17:39:35

I agree with expatinscotland.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Aug-14 17:41:43

He may well be "lovely" but he loves alcohol more than anything else in life and that includes you. His primary thought is where the next drink is going to come from.

You cannot rescue and or save someone like this and nothing but misery awaits you if you become emotionally involved with him. Why would you want to put yourself through all that at all?.

Do not go there at all, you already admit that you are a Woman Who Loves too Much. You need to re-read that publication and also look up co-dependency as well because you are putting his needs well above yours out of some innate need on your part to make your own self feel better about you.

GratefulHead Tue 19-Aug-14 18:14:08

Thank you for the replies.
Tbh we haven't discussed his drinking at all. I know he had a very abusive childhood and that his parents were alcoholics.

The one time we discussed the alcohol he just said he didn't drink until his late 20s and then it was just social. Over the past 20 years it has become a massive problem. I wouldn't expect him to give up for me ...I can't do that. The decision has to come from him.

The other issue is that I don't want DS to see the amount he drinks and see that as normal.

No....we are friends. ..good friends but that's all.

Thank you for the pointers to Co - dependency and Al - Al anon, will look both those things up for extra support.

GratefulHead Tue 19-Aug-14 18:21:48

I do recognise that only he is responsible for his drinking. He makes his own decisions about that.

I do drink occasionally but not regularly so have no concept of how hard it is not to drink. My friend says he envies my ability to pour and enjoy a glass of wine without having to finish the bottle. Sad isn't it? sad

FinnsMum19 Tue 19-Aug-14 18:46:14

Maybe he's had no reason to give up drinking until now? Worth having a chat with him about it at least don't you think?

mosaicone Tue 19-Aug-14 19:15:20

Im two fold. I was in a relationship with a massive drinker, though some nights it was only 1-2 cans it was every single night and dont get me wrong it was a LOT - every single weekend he was awful, got totally wasted. I put up with this for a long time.
However when I got with my DP, he smoked weed a lot. I said it was a deal breaker for me as my ex did that too.
True to his word he hasnt touched it since and we've been together 18 months and he hasnt missed it at all. He did it as a boredom thing his mates did and doesnt miss that side of life at all.

So my advice is to bring it up now. Alcohol is different to weed though.

GratefulHead Wed 27-Aug-14 06:23:41

Just wanted to give you an update :-)

Long chat with him at the weekend, we have agreed that while he is in recovery he needs a friend rather than a girlfriend. But we both have feelings for one another.

I have had a very difficult past with sexual abuse in childhood, therefore it is very difficult for me to have a relationship with anyone. I feel safe with this man though and we have twice now cuddled up in bed together, not made love or anything so intense but he has just held me and we have had a cuddle, he knows about the abuse as I felt able to tell him. So he just held me while we snuggled in bed and we talked about feeling safe. This is a massive step forward for me. It wont happen again for a while as DS is now home and I wont get the opportunity to have the lovely cozy nights in I have been enjoying with my friend.

In the meantime we message everyday and see each other to go shopping etc.

He is also a fabulous cook as I discovered while DS was away, he bought food round and cooked for me both nights as he said I needed a break from it all. Told me to sit on the sofa, gave me a glass of wine, prepared delicious dinners from scratch AND he washed up afterwards.

He has been pretty much perfect but in our discussions he also said that his past relationships have not been brilliant but that he took the blame for that as he was drinking. He is very positive about his ex-girlfriends and has only good stuff to say about them, says they put up with a lot due to his drinking.

So....we are staying friends and reviewing how he goes in recovery. We have agreed to look at it all again in a few months. I am happy with this. smile

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